SEOUL, Sept. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – The government’s intention to reduce the maximum limit of weekly working hours from 68 to 52 has caused Samsung Electronics’ senior management to try a 52-hour work week test run.
According to rumblings from within the electronics industry, departmental heads received memos advising them to “encourage staff to reduce weekly working hours to 52 if possible”.
The electronics giant has already instituted a type of work-life balance policy since 2015. Titled “Daily 4 Hours, Weekly 40 Hours”, under its conditions employees could set their own daily work schedules as long as they observed a daily minimum of 4 working hours and a weekly minimum of 40 working hours in total.
The initiative to reduce overall working hours has not been viewed positively by some in the R&D and global marketing departments, who can have irregular and prolonged work schedules as a consequence of the nature of their work.
The manufacturing division, which has a significant number of employees who prefer to work extra hours for overtime pay, is believed to be a source of some grumbling towards the company’s proposed corrective to employee work hours.
A Samsung Electronics spokesperson declared that the company as a whole had instituted the measures beginning in early July as a test run. “[The suggested policy] was a preparatory measure against the widespread confusion a sudden cut of at least 10 hours from the work week might cause.”
The spokesperson added that the decision to abide by the memo was ultimately up to the department heads.